Friday, October 9, 2015

Advances in Artificial Reproductive Techniques

In our previous article, we had discussed the meaning and various possible causes that cause infertility in both  - men and women. Once the prognosis is done and the cause identified, there are multiple techniques available today that can give them a ray of hope…

Artificial Reproductive Techniques (ART) involves all treatments where eggs are fertilized or embryos are conceived outside the body.

Let’s see some recent advances in artificial reproductive techniques:

  1. Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) – One of the least invasive and more affordable alternatives to IVF, in this process, a washed sperm is placed in the woman’s uterus using a catheter during the ovulation cycle.

  2. In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) - is the treatment in which an egg is surgically removed from the ovary and fertilized outside the body. In some cases, IVF may be accompanied by the following two supplementary treatments:

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) – In this treatment, a single sperm is injected directly into the egg. After fertilization, the embryos are allowed to develop for 3 to 5 days before being transferred to the woman’s uterus.

Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI) – For couples that have had previously failed IVF and ICSI, IMSI is a ray of hope. The sperm selection is performed under magnification to identify good quality, which helps in better egg fertilization rates, better quality embryos, better rate of blastocyst formation and hence, better pregnancy rates.

Embryos - Day 3
3.    Donor egg or embryo adoption program – If a woman is unable to conceive due to her matured age, health reasons or poor quality of her eggs, she can opt for donor eggs or embryos donated by another woman. The donor egg is combined with the partner’s sperm in the laboratory, and the embryo is transferred to the woman’s uterus after fertilization. The same procedure can be done with a donated embryo or donated sperm.

4.    Gestational Surrogacy – In this procedure, another woman carries the embryo or donor embryo and gives birth to the baby for the couple facing fertility problems. It is also usually the most preferred route for single fathers.

5.    Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) – For men who have no sperm in their semen, but still want to conceive with their own semen, this procedure can be useful. Sometimes, there is a sperm production, but it is not carried to the seminal fluid. In this case, sperm is extracted directly from the seminal ducts. This sperm extracted from the testis can be then directly injected into the egg or frozen for future use.

6.     Cryopreservation – It is a procedure where sperms, oocytes or embryos are preserved by cooling to low sub zero temperatures, such as -196 degrees C. At such low temperatures, any biological activity, including biochemical reactions of gametes are effectively stopped. 

The above treatments may require surgery and are expensive. Please take the advise of your physician to know the best treatment option suited for you. However, ART provides most couples with infertility issues the best chance of having a biological child. You can visit us @ www.corionfertiityclinic.con or write to us at for any additional information or assistance

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Nuclear family in meltdown (but the kids will be okay)

Nuclear family in meltdown (but the kids will be okay)

This an interesting compilation of various research conducted over the years and provide a good perspective of the evolution of families using ART and the social impacts.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Infertility Factors in Males and Females

In medical terms, infertility is referred to as a woman’s inability to conceive, even after a year of unprotected intercourse. Although infertility is considered to be a concern often associated with women, not many people know that male-related infertility accounts for one-third of the cases. Studies also indicate that the infertility cause remains unidentified in 25% of couples planning to have a baby.

Here are some common and not-so-common factors of female and male infertility:

Infertility in Women

Common Factors
·      Tubal Disease – damage or blockage of the Fallopian tubes.
·      Ovulatory dysfunction  or anovulation – egg is not released from the ovary every month.
·      Endometriosis – affects the function of the Fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries.
·      Uterine or cervical abnormalities – abnormalities in the shape or cavity of the uterus or problems with the opening/closing of the cervix.
·      Gynecological problems - previous ectopic pregnancy or more than one miscarriage.

Less Common Factors
·      Premature menopause
·      Use of medications that induce temporary infertility
·      Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
·      Absence of menstruation

Infertility in Men

Common Factors
·      Low sperm count or quality
·      Problems with the delivery of sperm
·      Erectile dysfunction
·      Premature ejaculation

Less Common Factors
·      Inflammation of testes (Orchitis)
·      Blocked testicle(s)
·      Any drug treatment or exposure to chemotherapy, saunas or hot tubs

Some common factors which can lead to infertility issues in both men and women are:

·      Genetic abnormalities
·      Lifestyle factors such as being overweight, stress, smoking, drugs or contact with/ingestion of harmful chemicals.
·      Medical conditions like diabetes, epilepsy and thyroid (mostly in women).
·      Age-related infertility - though it affects females more (after the age of 35), males suffer from it too.

Medical tests could help to determine the actual cause of infertility, and artificial treatment options available to the couple thereafter.